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UN passes resolution demanding unconditional ceasefire in Libya

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday passed a resolution demanding that the warring parties in Libya commit to a lasting ceasefire and condemning the recent increase in violence, with Russia abstaining from the vote.

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday passed a resolution demanding that the warring parties in Libya commit to a lasting ceasefire and condemning the recent increase in violence, with Russia abstaining from the vote.

The British-drafted resolution endorses the outcomes of the Jan. 19 Berlin summit on Libya when international leaders vowed to uphold a UN arms embargo, enable a peace process and end outside interference and military support for the fighting factions.

The text also calls for the continuation of talks between the factions in Geneva under the auspices of the UN, after a first round ended on Saturday without a ceasefire deal.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the adoption of the resolution was a “big step” on the path towards a solution for the 9-year conflict.

“The outcomes of the Berlin conference are now binding for all sides,” he said in a statement.

Maas is on Sunday set to host around a dozen foreign ministers of countries that participated in Berlin at the margins of the Munich Security Conference.

Russia, which did not join the 14 other Security Council members in approving the resolution, complained that it had been “rushed” and had a major defect: “A lack of clearly expressed consent from the Libyan sides themselves.”

“We have serious doubts that in the form that it was drafted this resolution will contribute to any kind of solution,” Moscow’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

Russia had earlier sought to make amendments to the text, including changing the expression of concern over the growing involvement of mercenaries to “foreign terrorist fighters.” The changes were not accepted.

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